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At least eight feared dead after Tunisian ship collides with migrant boat

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At least eight feared dead after Tunisian ship collides with migrant boat
Photo: Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP
12:04 CEST+02:00
At least eight people are feared to have died after a Tunisian warship collided with a migrant boat heading towards Italy on Sunday night.

Between 70 and 80 people were believed to have been on board the boat when the accident happened off the coast of Tunisia, from where there has been a recent increase in the number of migrants attempting the Mediterranean crossing towards Europe after Italy struck a deal in July to limit the flow from war-torn Libya.

Eight bodies have been recovered while around 20 people are still missing, Flavio Di Giacomo, a spokesperson for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) wrote in a tweet. Over 40 people have been saved in an operation coordinated by Malta's coastguard alongside colleagues from the Italian island of Lampedusa.

Belhassen Oueslati, a spokesperson for Tunisia's defense ministry, said the crash happened on Sunday night as the military vessel "approached an unidentified boat" about 54km from the Kerkenna islands.

"The boat collided with the military ship, causing it to sink."

More details to follow.

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